Since our finances are not yet at a place where we could afford to host a huge party for our first birthday, our initial idea was to rather have a private day and spend it on a photoshoot themed “From wedding gown to Angel Gown” instead. This would document everything from where we first receive a wedding gown, thoroughly documenting all the steps up to the final Angel Gown wrapped and ready for handover.
It is still going to take a while for us to build that photo album, but this blog is more about the day and the people that were able to share it with us. We do recommend you read this blog here to find out the fun story of how we got to meet up with our amazing photographer of the day, Jacki White. With the exception of the three photos featuring Jacki, all photo credit goes to her in this post.
After we confirmed a date with Jacki and I told people about what we were going to do, we suddenly started populating a guest list… so many amazing things happened to TAGI through its first year, and we met so many wonderful people along the way, without whom we could not have done all of this. And so a simple photoshoot turned into a year of retrospect.
We served our guests a lovely assortment of finger foods, juices and as the day got longer, some even had a glass of wine or a beer – cos we are adults and we work hard! Lol! Oh, and please don’t forget about the choc-chip-mint flavoured muffins we served for desert, or the custom made, Angel Gown shaped vanilla birthday cake! Milla Bottomley baked these treats for the day. We also gave all our guests a little thank you baggy with sweeties to enjoy later.
Milla is also our newest member of TAGI, holding the position Director of Public relations. Aside from that she also fills the role of Ambassador and is an all-round TAGI volunteer, being very active in the sewing and beading part of TAGI duties. As a thank you for her contribution to the day, we gifted her Backsberg wine in two of her favourite categories.
Although it was a busy day for them, Babette and John-Gordon from ZingDigit Embroidery and Branding was able to take some time out of their schedule to eat some cake, share some laughs and managed to do some networking as well! Babette has given us a full sponsorship on embroidering our beautiful logos onto our Angel Gowns.
During the early days we also got to meet Alta Volschenk from The Compassionate Friends. TCF is a charitable organisation that offers grief support to families suffering the loss of a child. On 11 August 2018 I will be a guest speaker at their National Annual Gathering which will be taking place in the Stellenbosch this year – another big milestone for TAGI.
We met Sam Posselt during our interactions with the NPC called Phambano Tech. Their work is aimed at helping NPO’s becoming tech savvy through helping us get into contact with tech corporations that are willing to assist us. It is through them and their help that TAGI has gotten donations from companies such as Microsoft and Sage. Sam joined us bright and early to do some “behind the scenes” photography for us. For her contribution to the day we gifted her a set of beer glasses, as we knew how much she enjoys beer.
Chrizelle Eramsus was also able to spend the day with us. Since last year October not a month has gone by where she didn’t make at least one donation to us. Many of her donations were made to us after she inquired about our most urgent needs, which has often gotten us through a tough month! On this day we have also turned her into our newest volunteer by showing her how to help us dismantle the donated evening and wedding gowns – something that takes up quite a lot of time.
There is really so much I can say about this day that I don’t know where to start or where to stop. The blog on our first birthday really speaks to all the sentiments of this big milestone. So, as this blog has already gotten far longer than I had intended, I will leave you with this photo album of some photos of the day. Please note, these photos are not centred around the making of Angel Gowns (that will come later) but more about the people, the goodies, the food and the fun we had.
Thank you all for being there, and making this experience so special!
Eric Elronde and the TAGI team.